The BBC National Short Story Award 2011 - Various
Paperback: £ 6.99
Publisher: Comma Press
The same as with the 2010 collection I'm going to do a brief review of each story in turn. These stories, similarly to the 2010 collection are those shortlisted for the award. Here they are:
Rag Love - M. J. Hyland
A story of desire and a bit of a hint of 'be careful what you wish for'. What I believe to be a moral tale of setting expectations too high, pinning too much on one thing. It looks at the tragedy of real life. A relationship based on one thing, and one thing alone and a superficial thing at that. If there aren't solid foundations, a disappointment will lead to the relationship crumbling.
The Heart of Dennis Noble - Alison MacLeod
Bloody love this story! It questions love, what you love, where love lives within you, how you live things and why! It is amazing! It pits science against nature and doesn't come up with a conclusive answer that favours either. Brilliant!
One part of the story did freak me out though, I think it's really horrible when medical professionals or people with medical knowledge go through a procedure they know everything about. Urrrgh! Imagine how horrid!
Wires - Jon McGregor
I enjoyed this story more than his one in the 2010 collection. The girl is so detached from her situation and considering the accident that's just happened it's understandable. What is also understandable is that it makes her reassess her relationship with Marcus. The ending is most unsettling and worrying, especially for people like me who are female and drive around places on their own!!! The ending has made me feel nervous whilst the rest of it made me feel strangely empowered.
The Human Circadian Pacemaker - K. J. Orr
I think I'm spotting a theme in this collection, love, relationships, things like that. I think I'm missing something with this story though. I like the parallels drawn between 'traveling' for your work, but I'm not sure I'm even right noticing that. Either this story is too subtle for me to understand or (and I suspect this to be correct), I'm just not intelligent enough to get it.
The Dead Roads - D. W. Wilson
A sweet story of love somewhat unfulfilled, but with sinister undertones. Creepy characters, unsettling locations and even in one instance complete abandon to seeing someone get hurt. I did like it though. Vic and Duncan are a cute pair in their own way and everyone has a one crush/love that'll always be in the back of their mind so it can be related to easily.
Not sure which of the two collections I preferred, they were both good for different reasons!